Indian School Kids’ Milk Is Awash with Water

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Indian school kids awaiting midday meal, and watery milk.

A surprise, sunrise inspection of a food preparation facility servicing 11,000 school children in India’s Uttar Pradesh province found 292 liters (308.5 quarts) of water in just 192 liters (202.8 quarts) of milk.

Radha Krishan Tivari, assistant director in the basic education department who held the surprise inspection, told The Times of India that schoolchildren were drinking milk that was more than 150 per cent water.

“We were simply stunned,” he told the paper last Thursday. “The visit to the kitchen of Nav Prayas, an NGO [non-government organization] we hired to supply milk and midday meals, left one dismayed.” He said the NGO supplies food to 131 schools, including 107 primary and 27 higher primary government schools.

He said that one student, speaking anonymously, said that many kids are unable to eat the food “as the quality is so bad.”

A report on the surprise inspection will be forwarded up the government chain, and the NGO will not be receiving payments for at least two recent months.

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Teens Pay Attention To Sugary Drink Warnings

 

Amazingly, teens apparently not only read but also heed health warnings – at least where sugary drinks are concerned, according to a recent study at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The average teen in the United States consumes at least one sugar-sweetened beverage every day, which could account for more than twice the recommended daily serving of sugar,” said study lead author Christina Roberto.

Roberto is an assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

“The rate of sugar consumption in the U.S. is astounding and contributes significantly to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other dangerous and costly health conditions,” she added in a university news release.

An online survey was used to assess the hypothetical beverage selections of more than 2,000 youngsters, aged 12 to 18. The drinks had either no label or one of five health warning labels. One label featured calorie content and four carried variations of a written warning that sugary beverages contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

While 77 percent of the participants said they would select a sugary drink if there was no warning label, participants were 8 percent to 16 percent less likely to select a sugary drink that bore such a message, the study found.

The warning labels helped raise teens’ awareness of the health risks of sugary drinks, the study authors noted. Sixty-two percent of the participants said they would support a warning label policy for sugary drinks.

Several U.S. cities and states are currently considering such policies, the researchers said.

The findings highlight the need for nutrition information at the point of purchase to help people make healthier choices, said study co-author Eric VanEpps. He is a postdoctoral researcher at the university’s Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics.

“This study shows that warning labels can affect teenagers’ beverage preferences, and future research will be needed to determine whether these labels are similarly effective in more typical purchasing environments,” he said.

The study was published Sept. 8 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Young Footballers’ Head Injury Risk Highest In Practice, Not Games

 

 

Not only are players of American football who are between six and 14 years of age at risk for head injuries, a recent study revealed they are more at risk of high-impact injuries during practice sessions than during actual games.

“High-magnitude head impacts are more likely to result in concussion,” said study co-author Steven Rowson, an assistant professor with Virginia Tech’s Center for Injury Biomechanics.

It’s estimated that up to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year, the study authors said. And, football has been linked to the highest risk of brain injuries in team sports, according to the study.

While most research has focused on high school, college and professional football players, kids 14 and under are estimated to make up 70 percent of all football players in the United States.

And, those youngsters may be more at risk than older players, one expert noted.

“We know that kids in general — particularly adolescents — take longer on average than adults to recover from concussion,” said Anthony Kontos. He’s the research director with the Sports Medicine Concussion Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

“We don’t yet know the effects of concussions on the maturation and developmental processes in the brains of children and adolescents,” he explained.

Rowson noted that research such as this study can help develop better prevention approaches. “And by reducing players’ exposure to these impacts, concussions in youth football can be reduced.”

The new study hoped to understand when football players in the 6-14 age group suffer the most head impacts.

To find the answer, researchers outfitted 34 players on two teams in Blacksburg, Va., with helmet devices that measure the movement of the head in impacts. The average age of the children was 10.

The researchers tracked almost 7,000 impacts. Of those, 408 (6 percent) had the highest accelerations. Tackling and blocking drills accounted for 86 percent of all these high-level impacts, even though they made up just 22 percent of practice time.

“We found that impact rates between practices and games were largely consistent,” said study author Eamon Campolettano. He’s a graduate student at Virginia Tech.

“However, teams practice significantly more than they play games. This means that players are exposed to a greater number of head impacts in practice than in games,” Campolettano said.

A drill called “King of the Circle” produced the most head impacts (25 to 68 per hour).

“In King of the Circle, all players but one stand in a large circle,” Campolettano said. “The remaining player is in the middle of the circle and rushes at a player on the perimeter. Each player gets three opportunities to be the rusher in this drill.”

Should this particular drill be eliminated? The rate of high magnitude impacts,”are very different than what players experience during games, suggesting it may not be necessary to practice this drill,” Rowson added.

What about eliminating other kinds of drills that cause head impacts? Kontos cautioned that concussions can occur at lower magnitudes than the highest level in the study.

“And, there are times when very high magnitudes do not result in concussion,” Kontos said. Indeed, none of the players suffered a concussion during the time of the study.

Instead of eliminating tackling drills, he said, “teams and coaches can use progressive approaches to teach proper tackling technique as advocated by USA Football and other programs.”

“Importantly, we want to teach kids safe tackling technique with limited exposure to impacts to the brain. But it should be in a way that allows kids to then tackle properly when they play games, which are faster and involve a more dynamic environment,” Kontos said.

Another option is to eliminate youth football entirely or encourage parents to take their kids out of the game. But Kontos disagrees with this approach.

“We need to balance concerns about concussion risk in sports with the benefits from playing youth sports including improved cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight, and psychosocial benefits such as teamwork and self-confidence,” Kontos said.

The study appears online Aug. 23 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

Kids Die, But Shouldn’t, When Left Alone inside Cars That Overheat

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Photo: KidsandCars.org

 

We’ve all heard the warnings/cautions: Don’t leave kids or pets in cars when temperatures are high. Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in  children, says that every eight days a child dies from heatstroke from being left in a car that got too hot. That’s inexcusable, and totally preventable, the group says.

Sometimes parents forget little ones are in the car if the kids have fallen asleep. Other times, people think they just have to go into a store for a few minutes. But, young children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adults, Safe Kids Worldwide says.

Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related deaths among children, the group noted.

To protect young children from dying of heatstroke in a car, parents and other caregivers need to remember to “ACT.”

  • Avoid heat stroke by never leaving children alone in a car, not even for a minute. Always lock your car when you’re not in it so children don’t get in on their own.
  • Create reminders that your child is in the car by putting something next to your child in the back seat, such as a briefcase, purse or cell phone that you’ll need when you arrive at your destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your usual routine.
  • Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Doing so could save a life.

The alarm to parents and caregivers to never leave a child alone in a car sounded louder during a week in 2012 after three more children died of heatstroke in cars. As summer temperatures reach record highs across the country, as tey are doing again this year, these preventable tragedies remind us to be even more vigilant to prevent heatstroke from killing another child.

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children under the age of 14. Since 1998, 545 children across the United States have died in cars from heatstroke, including 18 children this year.

More than half of these deaths occur when a driver forgets that the child is in the car. Experts will tell you this can happen to anybody. Our busy lifestyles create enough stress to trigger mental “lapses,” which can bury a thought and cause your brain to go on autopilot. The lapses can affect something as simple as misplacing your keys or something as crucial as forgetting a baby.

Almost 30 percent of the time, children get into a car on their own. Kids love to pretend they’re driving. They find a way into the car, but sometimes, they can’t find a way out.

The third scenario is when someone intentionally leaves a child alone in a car. A parent might be running an errand and think, “The baby just fell asleep. I’ll just be gone for a second.” But seconds turn into minutes, and before you know it, the temperature inside of the car has reached lethal levels.

Many people are shocked to learn how hot the inside of a car can actually get. On an 80 degree day, the temperature inside of a car can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes. You can only imagine what happens when the temperature outside is 100 degrees or more, as it has been in many places around the country this summer. And cracking the window doesn’t help.

Heatstroke sets in when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough. Young children are particularly at risk as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down. When that child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die. Heatstroke deaths have been recorded in 11 months of the year in nearly all 50 states. These tragedies can happen anytime, anywhere.

Two years ago, 49 children died in cars from heatstroke. Last year, one of the hottest years on record, we lost 33 children. Losing one child is one too many.